April 2016


Dan Cohen reports from Tel Aviv’s Rabin Square where last night more than 5,000 Israelis gathered in in a massive outpouring of support for Elor Azarya, the Israeli soldier and French citizen who was recently indicted on manslaughter charges for executing a wounded, immobile Palestinian man on March 24 in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron. Cohen writes the rally was, “the largest public display of fascism since the last war on Gaza in 2014, when anti-war protesters were beaten in the streets. Among the sea of flags and signs, one read “My honor is loyalty” – the motto of the Nazi SS. Last night was the latest example of the genocidal current running through the Israeli right wing, one that has support from the grassroots to the Knesset.”

The dream of liberal Zionists at J Street is that in the lame duck period of his presidency, President Obama will bring resolutions to the UN Security Council to condemn Israeli settlements and set out the parameters of a two-state solution. Do you believe it?

Today, a Jerusalem district court convicted the ringleader of the 2014 murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Abu Khdeir who was abducted near his home in East Jerusalem and burned alive. The defendant, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 30, will be sentenced in the coming weeks. He along with two minors kidnapped Abu Khdeir and beat and killed the youth. The slaying prompted weeks of unrest and gained international prominence as a high-profile case of settler violence against Palestinians.

Wilson Dizard reports from Brooklyn ahead of the NY Democratic primary today. He finds young voters are attracted to Bernie Sanders for his principled criticism of Israel, even in the wake of the controversial suspension of Jewish outreach aide Simone Zimmerman. Dizard writes, “If Sanders had been at the Highbury Pub in Ditmas Park in Brooklyn on Thursday night to watch him debate campaign rival Hillary Clinton, he might have decided against suspending Zimmerman. There were no cheers louder or longer there in the packed bar than when the Vermont senator (in an act of political courage) stood up for Palestinians”

The detention by Palestinian Authority security forces of three Palestinians who allegedly planned to carry out an attack inside Israel this week brought renewed public criticism of the PA amid a slew of political disputes. The PA finds itself pitted between a need to appease the Israeli authorities through security coordination and the mass upheaval such coordination brings among political rivals and the wider public.